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Coming Out of the Comedy Closet

[Ed. Note: Carl’s ‘Grand Theft Audio’ airs tonight and every Thursday night on LATalkRadio.com at 7pm PST]

It’s not easy being a conservative in comedy these days. Folks like Evan Sayet, and no doubt Drew Carey or Kelsey Grammer, can tell you that.

Add in the fact that I’m just trying to get to where they are, and not already fully entrenched in success, and a lot of people would wonder if admitting I’m a conservative (actually, libertarian but pro-life to boot) isn’t tantamount to career suicide. The fact I’m also a reporter in the ultra-liberal world of alternative-weekly newspapers, and some would say that I might as well pick out my casket.

I’ll admit that I was a virtually a card-carrying liberal for about a decade until I reached my moment of conversion last summer. Before that, I was hoping for Hillary to win it all, having grown up in Arkansas with Bill ‘n’ Hill keeping things colorful, and then watching Bill keep us out of wars and leaving us with a budget surplus while in the White House.

I bought the Kool-Aid that Bush could do nothing right and was a fervent follower of Michael Moore (I even have a photo with him where we sadly almost look like twins). But when I saw my brethren in the news media suddenly fawning blindly over the Chicago mystery man Barack Obama, giving him the easiest free pass to the White House I’d ever seen despite the fact he had less relevant job experience than it takes to manage a department store, I started to wonder if maybe my profession and its liberal slant had veered dangerously off-course.

And the more I read about him, the more questions I had. I also had always held respect for John McCain and his incredible sacrifices for the nation, so by the time fall rolled around, I was campaigning for the war hero and speaking out against the man who couldn’t even produce a normal birth certificate to prove he belonged in the White House.

All that intersected with the opportunity to fulfill my dream of combining my comedic interests and my journalistic abilities as a radio talk-show host. Bringing the two funniest men I know, fellow showbiz neophytes Jake Belcher and Brant Thoman, we pushed hard for advertising and landed a coveted spot on the lineup of one of America’s top talk-radio stations, KABC in Los Angeles.

Our show was called “Grand Theft Audio: The Jake, Brant & Carl Show,” and for three weeks leading into the election and one week after, we raged hard and comedically in the name of conservatism, McCain and against the encroaching trauma of the Obama Nation. We did it pretty creatively, too; you can still hear the episodes in the “Comedy” section of my website, www.americasfunniestreporter.com.

But then the station had a shakeup and brought in a nationally-syndicated talk show from Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. We were out of luck, it seemed – that is until a month ago, when we learned about the site www.latalkradio.com and brought “Grand Theft Audio” back, bigger and better than ever because now we could be heard live all over the world. We also have been able to use our past episodes and my decade of experience in the stand-up comedy world to bring in some major players as guests, with comedy superstars like Carlos Mencia, “SNL” vet Kevin Nealon and Bob Saget on tap to guest soon. The site averages 10,000 listeners at any time, but with these kinds of guests and support from places like Big Hollywood, we believe we can grow explosively and soon cross back into regular radio and even TV in addition to our Web efforts.

Our show is like “The View” for guys, only rather than having a token conservative like Elizabeth Hasselbeck, we are the ones steering the ship on the literal Right course. We’ve spoken passionately (yet, again, humorously) against cap and trade and tonight we’re ripping on the Obama health care plan. We talk about all sorts of entertainment and showbiz stories too, plus sports when it matters (like the Michael Vick reinstatement).

And thanks to great people like Evan Sayet and the folks at Breitbart, our daring to be boldly conservative hasn’t been suicidal at all. I’ve found, through Evan’s “Right to Laugh” show (where I recently performed), that not only is there a large conservative audience hungry for entertainment that doesn’t mock them, but that they’re the best and most appreciative audience I’ve ever experienced.

And so I welcome anyone reading this to come along for the ride. We want to take this far and show that not all young people are hopelessly, blindly liberal. We three, for instance, are libertarians in favor of marijuana decriminalization (I don’t use, but my partners are “don’t ask don’t tell” on that one!) and laissez-faire about same-sex marriage. There’s plenty of people our age thinking for ourselves as well, and realizing that we have to wake up now or risk losing so much of what makes our country great.

We may be making the medicine of serious messages sweeter by providing laughs, but our message is dead serious. Tune in at www.latalkradio.com, Channel One, at 7 to 8 p.m. PST, 9 to 10 p.m. CST and 10 to 11 p.m. EST every Thursday night or go to www.latalkradio.com/Grand.php for permanently archived podcasts.

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